Slow Food Ventura County is a chapter of Slow Food USA - part of the global Slow Food network of over 150,000 members in more than 150 countries. The mission of the international grassroots membership is to insure access to good, clean and fair food for all.

As the Ventura County chapter we seek to call attention to local farmers, ranchers, growers, food artisans, chefs, bakers, fermenters, brewers, vintners and businesses that represent the regions bounty with their daily commitment to feeding us through the regions soils.

Profits from SBFF and Wild Brew Fest will support collaborative microbiome projects that Slow Food Ventura County is spearheading to further our understanding of the billions of microbes that live within our immune system, the role that they play, and how fermented foods and probiotics contribute to the health of our immune system.

Slow Food MICROBIOME Project:

What Slow Food chapters do best is bring people together around food and drink to build community. Yet with every gathering is an underlying story we seek to explore. In this case, it’s the microbiome of the human gut.

50 people have volunteered to be part of two separate studies. The first, seeking to discover what bacterial communities from locally produced fermented foods made their way into the participants' guts when added to their diets. The second assesses the impact of a new probiotic on the fungal and bacterial communities in our gut. Participants came from a variety of California coastal communities, so this should be an interesting study.

On Sunday, March 12th, participants began taking fecal matter samples across a 14 day period. The next week, a Slow Food gathering took place where a dozen of SoCal’s most well known fermenters distributed their wildly fermented items to the study group. Across the next 7 days, participants added these foods to their diets with an eye towards detecting which microbes survived all the way through to their guts.

Upon completion of the study, samples were genetically sequenced at Ubiome’s lab in San Francisco to determine how the bacterial communities of the participant’s microbiomes shifted by adding the fermented foods.

Two weeks later, 50 participants sent their samples to BIOHM to get a baseline of not only their bacterial, but their fungal communities as well. After taking BIOHM’s probiotic for 30 days, another sample was collected and sequenced to determine the effect of the probiotic on these communities.  

We will be sharing the results and analysis of these studies with our attendees at SBFF and having a panel discussion with microbiologists and researchers about the effects of good bacteria and fungals on our health.

Slow Food Ventura County is grateful to the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival for creating an environment where knowledge and relationships around the topic of fermentation are so graciously nurtured. The Slow Food/Ubiome/BIOHM project project is a direct result of that environment. Thank you SBFF for the inspiration!